As autumn greets Southern Utah, officials at Bryce Canyon announce important projects, operation hours

Stock image by Todd Kay from Pixabay, St. George News

BRYCE CANYON — While 2020 has been a year full of the unexpected, the changing of the seasons can still be counted on to bring cooler temperatures and shifting colors. Autumn also means changes to park operations at Bryce Canyon, and park officials recently announced upcoming construction projects, operating hours and important dates for park visitor services and concessions.

Safety improvements along state Route 12 between mile markers 14-16 and near Mossy Cave will be on-going this fall. According to a press release from the National Park Service, these improvements are intended to stabilize road surfaces and increase visitor safety in these areas. Construction will likely continue through the fall season, and traffic delays of 10-15 minutes should be expected for both east and westbound traffic.

The park Visitor Center and Bookstore is currently open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Winter hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will take effect on Nov. 8. The park’s Visitor Center and Bookstore will not be open Nov. 26 and Dec. 25 in observance of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays; however, the park remains open year round.

Sunset Campground remains open for camping by reservation through until Oct. 16, when it will transition to first-come-first-served camping. Sunset Campground closes for the season on Nov. 1 or earlier if overnight temperatures drop consistently below freezing.

North Campground is currently open for first-come-first-served camping. While Loop A will remain open year-round, Loops B, C, and D and the North Campground dump station will close Nov. 1 or earlier if overnight temperatures drop consistently below freezing.

Thor’s Hammer, one of Bryce Canyon National Park’s most iconic hoodoos, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, March 18, 2007 | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

The Bryce Canyon Shuttle is currently providing service from 8 a.m. until the final outbound bus departs the Visitor Center leaving the park at 6:15 p.m. Shuttle service will continue in the park through Oct. 18. Modifications for visitor safety remain in place, with capacity limited to 20 passengers and free face masks available.

Concession lodging and food services will be available most of the fall and winter season at Bryce Canyon. On Nov. 1, the Lodge at Bryce Canyon will close for the season at 11 a.m., the General Store will close at 6 p.m. These facilities will resume operations in the spring of 2021. Sunset Hotel will continue offering overnight accommodations into the winter of 2020. Visit Bryce Canyon Forever website or call 877-386-4383 for all park lodging rates and availability.

The final day for horseback and mule rides operated by Canyon Trail Rides will be Oct. 31, unless weather dictates an earlier closing. Canyon Trail Rides will resume operations on May 1 or earlier if conditions permit. For more information, call 435-679-8665 or click here.

“We hope visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park will enjoy their fall experience,” park officials said in the press release.

Additional information on modifications to park operations can be obtained by visiting the Bryce Canyon National Park website and clicking on the park’s COVID-19 Alert or by calling the park’s information line at 435-834- 5322.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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